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“Go for the experience”

Ellen's Stardust Diner
Ranked #769 of 14,591 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: American, Diner, Deli
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Midtown
Reviewed May 16, 2013 via mobile

Definitely a fun thing to do for a tourist in New York. Food was nice with all the classic diner stuff we wanted to see on the menu. The singing and overall experience is way better than the service.

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Thank galadriel82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11,331 - 11,335 of 17,363 reviews

Reviewed May 16, 2013

Even though I live locally, if anyone visits me from out of town, I always try to make certain that we have time to come here.

The food is good American and the ice cream desserts are marvelous.

The entertainment is wonderful as the waitstaff are all aspiring Broadway musical actors/actresses. Frankly, some are much better than the others but it is still a wonderful treat!

The only warning that I would give is to make certain that you come here before 5:00 p.m. since everyone going to the evening performances of Mamma Mia (next door) comes here prior to that show (and lots of other shows, too, but this is the closest one) so you might have a looong wait if you don't time it properly. If you don't want to eat that early, then come after the shows for an ice cream treat (they're open late!)

My sister who works and lives in midtown poo poo'd the idea of going there (why would she want to go when she works for one of the Broadway theaters?) but even she had a great time!

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Thank BZM_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

During our stay in New York we decided we'd most definitely want to experience ESD, as a unique diner experience with a twist.

We arrived just after 6pm and queued up outside for a table with everyone else, waiting about 20 mins or so. Once in we were seated at our table for two and our waitress introduced herself and then disappeared. We began listening to the other waiters then belting out their songs (with varying degrees of success), but it was funny. Our waitress then returned, apologised for being so long and took our order of chilli nachos to start, and both myself and my fiancée ordered the meatloaf.

After 10 mins we were beginning to wonder if all that stardust had blinded our waitress leaving her unable to find her way back to our table. Whilst having it cleared from her eyes, one of her colleagues ably leapt to her assistance, slamming my can and plastic cup on the table without a word, and seconds later easing on my fiancées drink also without a word. Perhaps she's saving her singing voice I thought.

Our nachos were brought by another waiter. They were ok, the chilli a little bland, but the tortillas were multi-coloured! Imagine that, these crazy Broadway types. Once finished, they were cleared by another waiter.

Our meatloaf arrived shortly after (again from another waiter). An ice cream scoop of lumpy mashed potato, an odd assortment of "today's" veg and a slab of meatloaf with a rather slim serving of gravy. It wasn't great. All the time the lead waitress was telling us the story of Ellen's Diner leading to the ubiquitous "donation bucket" doing the rounds. She had a fantastic singing voice as did two of her fellow waitresses, whilst sadly I think the NYPD should have been summoned for some of her colleagues, who murdered a couple of songs in between.

Our original waitress then returned to ask if we wanted desert, which we didn't (we just wanted to get out!) and brought the bill after standing at the bar chatting to her colleagues with it in her hand for 8mins (yes I did time her!). We paid the bill and the expected tip, even though it left a bitter taste in my mouth.

We didn't expect gourmet food, just a good honest diner experience with a twist. We got the twist, the good singing (and the bad) helped scratch the three stars. Service was appallingly slow, whilst I appreciate these guys and girls have dreams of broadway stardom, I'd recommend that they concentrate on serving their patrons and earning those tips.

I'd recommend it for the experience, but you've been warned!

Thank DThompson367
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

A great way to have a broadway experience without going to an expensive show. The staff sing songs in a great classic diner. The food is not very special but prices are ok and you get the whole experience. Our teen age kids loved it.

1  Thank Jaja000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We went to Ellen's Stardust Diner Last Friday May 10th. We (Me and 3 girlfriends) came in and sat down at a table. There was a waiter that was rapping out Jay-Z's Song "Empire State of Mind" he was entertaining but then LADY LIBERTY started with the Alicia Keys part and Lady Liberty ROCKED IT! Wow!!! We were so impressed! Then she came over to our table and waited on us! She was also a great waitress! The food was great too! We asked Lady Liberty to sing another song and she sang The Kenny Rogers song "The Gambler" and rocked that one too! WE LOVED LADY LIBERTY!!!

The Four Chicks from Kansas!

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2  Thank DarcyD68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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